With the start of a brand new year today, January 1, 2016, many people are busy making a list of “New Year’s Resolutions” in an attempt to, once again, “turn over a new leaf” or to “right a wrong” such as changing bad eating habits or starting an exercise program; or perhaps making an effort to restore ailing family relationships or friendships or whatever else might be ailing them. Gaby Hinsliff, a columnist at The Guardian and former political editor of the Observer, stated that her New Year’s resolution for 2016 is to “stop being a lousy friend.” And I’m sure most of us can relate to that one.
While I stopped making New Year’s resolutions at least a decade or two ago, a brand new year always holds out hope for new beginnings as I’m sure it does for most everyone else, too. There’s something fresh and squeaky clean about a brand new year beginning again, and while it seems it doesn’t take much (or very long) to put a smudge on it, we hold out hope for a world tangled in chaos. Just review some of the top news stories of 2015 if you don’t believe it isn’t chaotic in our world today. ABCNews reported, “The San Bernardino shooting [on December 2, 2015] marked at least the 57th mass shooting this year where three or more people were killed, according to an ABC News analysis.” (Quote source here.)
While we may shake our heads with each new tragedy that strikes with ever increasing frequency, most of us haven’t got a clue how to solve the problem of the escalating violence taking place all around us in our nation and around the world. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have for those of us who believe in God, but I know that sometimes there are simply no words to adequately express what is going on all around us. When words escape me and I honestly don’t know how to pray about what is going on, I often pray the prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray, also known as “The Lord’s Prayer,” found in Matthew 6:9-13:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts (e.g., our trespasses),
as we also have forgiven our debtors
(e.g., those who have trespassed against us).
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.”
We tend to stumble a lot over forgiving those who have trespassed against us, and perhaps this is one of the biggest causes of the human tragedies that happen in our world that are not caused by nature. And the ability to hate others we often don’t even know has been endemic in our world since the beginning of time. It is, indeed, the age old battle between good and evil. But the lines of evil have clearly been blurred over the past several decades. We’ve replaced the true meaning of evil with meaning something seemingly innocuous and self serving. “If it feels good, do it” became the “emerging values of the 1960’s and 70’s” (quote source here) and perpetuated to the following generations. When we look out only for ourselves without regard for others (especially those we don’t know), everyone eventually loses. A society cannot sustain itself for long if everyone is mostly concerned about what they can personally get out of life. If we take what we want from others without any regard for them, we shouldn’t be surprised if someone eventually comes along and takes it from us.
UPDATE: I’m in the process of revising this post from this point to the end. Since it was originally published earlier today, I don’t plan to delete the post but I decided after rereading it that what I had written from this point to the end needed a lot of “tweaking” (and that’s putting it mildly) so it was just easier to delete it for now. I was actually bemoaning my plight since I lost my job in Houston almost seven years ago (in April), and while what I wrote was cathartic for me to get it off my chest, I do so hate pity-parties and I was having a major one when I wrote it. Listening to music and/or reading a good book usually gets me out of it (fortunately, I very rarely have pity-parties) so I spent the rest of the day reading a John Grisham novel, “The King of Torts” (2003), which is about a young lawyer in Washington D.C. who gets caught up in a “get rich quick scheme” that actually works through “mass tort litigation.” However, greed certainly has it’s down side and this young lawyer gets the full brunt of it before the story ends. At least he gets to keep the old girlfriend.
Trust me when I say that reading that book was a much better deal then reading through what I had written on here before I decided I didn’t need to go so public with my own personal pity-party. What was name of that Leslie Gore song back in the 1960’s? “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To” (click link for YouTube Video). Okay, so I did. Enough already . . . 🙂
So I’ll leave “Righting a Wrong” to those who need to right it (but haven’t so far). What I wrote earlier (and deleted) was actually “Writing a Wrong,” and I’ve written about it in previous posts. Ya’ll know my story by now… 😉
In the meantime while I figure out how to fill up this space (or maybe just leave it as it is), please enjoy the Rascal Flatts song, “My Wish,” linked below.
And Happy New Year!!!
YouTube Video: “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts: